Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, on Monday gave his first speech on the Senate floor since suffering a stroke in early 2012.

Kirk asked to remain seated while giving his remarks.

He said that he had not spoken over the past two years but “I have risen to speak because I believe so passionately about enacting the ENDA statute.”

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) seeks to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I think it's particularly appropriate for an Illinois Republican to speak on behalf of this measure, in the true tradition of Everett McKinley Dirksen and Abraham Lincoln, men who gave us the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 13th amendment to the constitution,” Kirk added. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

After Kirk's comments, the Senate voted 61 to 30 to advance ENDA.

(Related: Gay protections bill ENDA clears cloture hurdle in Senate.)